UH library spared major damage from weekend rain - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

UH library spared major damage from weekend rain

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Alan Grosenheider Alan Grosenheider
Steve Pickering Steve Pickering

By Leland Kim - bio | email

MANOA (KHNL) -  Another round of soggy books at the University of Hawaii's Hamilton Library.  Heavy rains over the weekend caused the roof to leak, but thanks to quick action by the university, and a little bit of luck, the damage wasn't as bad as it could've been.  Nor was it as bad as the library flood a year ago.

Just about a year ago, the library got soaked, literally, during the rainy season.  It caused $250,000 worth of damages, but this time around, luck was on the university's side.

These high speed machines do their job, drying up what was a flood zone on Sunday.  Weekend rain poured into Hamilton Library.

"Sunday morning the water was pouring from the roof above the second floor," said Alan Grosenheider, assistant to the librarian at Hamilton Library.  "It was just pouring out from the ceiling. Every like half minute or a minute, we had to empty a bucket of where the water was pouring into."

This is where it all began, on the roof of the building.  Monday, only a few puddles remain, but on Sunday, this place was filled with two inches of water.

"I came out on the roof and found that three of the roof drains were plugged," said Steve Pickering, the library's building manager.  

Despite the mishap, luck was on their side.

"Fortunately it wasn't hitting the books directly," said Grosenheider. "It was hitting the floor and splattering onto the books, so the damage to the books were minimal. They got damp, opposed to getting really wet."

The library has a disaster response plan, which kicked in almost immediately.  The team brought in blowers and even a humidifier, to prevent books from being damaged more.

And the university has steps in place when the rains return.

"Probably what we're going to be doing is beefing up those canopies," said Pickering. "And they're also going to be waterproofing out in the transition zones between the old roof and the new roof."

Some more good news.  All of the damaged books have been saved.  They'll be back on the shelves on Wednesday.